Do Americans Really Like Diverse Communities?

  • December 02, 2008
  • By Paul Taylor and Richard Morin

About six-in-ten Americans say they like the idea of living in politically, racially, religiously or economically mixed communities, while about a quarter take the opposite view: they would rather live in communities made up mostly of people like themselves. The rest say they have no strong opinion, according to a new nationwide Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends survey.

This preference for diverse communities is greater among Democrats, liberals, college graduates, blacks and secular Americans than it is among the population as a whole. But virtually all major groups, at least to some degree, choose diversity over homogeneity when asked where they would like to live.

Despite these pro-diversity attitudes, however, American communities appear to have grown more politically and economically homogenous in recent decades, according to analyses of election returns and U.S. Census data.

Read the full report Americans Claim to Like Diverse Communities but Do They Really? on the Pew Research Center's Social and Demographic Trends Web site.